Former Disney animator, Tony Bancroft, along with voice talent and creative writer, Ben Chambers, talks about the dream they had to produce faith-based, family entertainment.
Ben Chambers is a writer and actor, known for Love Thy Neighbor (2003), All Hands on Deck (2003) and The Very First Noel (2006).
As a California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) student, Tony's talent was recognized very early on. As a result, his college career was cut short upon immediately being “drafted” to the big leagues of Walt Disney Animation Studios. His ability to quickly adapt his skills to any given project led him to work on such legendary animated productions as The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. His diligence and a meticulous eye for character performance were rewarded when he became the Supervising Animator for both The Lion King and The Emperor's New Groove. Memorable characters such as Pumbaa, the lovable warthog and spinach puff specialist, Kronk were two of the comedic creations that Tony brought to those Disney classics. He capped a successful 12-year career at Disney, being named co-director of the award-winning feature Mulan; adding to his list of credits, "youngest director in Disney's history" and an Annie Award for Best Director that year.
With a desire to broaden his horizons, Tony was tapped by Sony Pictures to become the Animation Director for their summer release, Stuart Little 2 and then briefly returned to Disney to direct the English-language voice talent for the U.S. release of Miyasaki's Porco Rosso. The culmination of his talent and experience led Tony to found his own animation studio - Toonacious Family Entertainment - where he specialized in DVD feature development and commercial production. Toonacious also produced their own original DVD series called Lenny and Sid.